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Took Family

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The Took clan was the most famous Hobbit family. ("Took" pronounced like "Two-k", not like "book" or "took" as in the past tense of "taken")

The first recorded Took (Tûk of unknown meaning in Hobbitish Westron) was an Isumbras Took, who became the 13th Thain of the Shire after Gorhendad Oldbuck crossed into Buckland, becoming Master there.

After Isumbras, the Thain position became hereditary in the Took family, and at the end of the Third Age his descendant Peregrin "Pippin" Took became the 19th Thain of the Took line, the 32nd in the Shire.

The Tooks lived in the Great Smials of Tuckborough, ruling Tookland in the Westfarthing of the Shire. A smaller clan called the North-Tooks lived far up in the Northfarthing; these were descendants of the legendary hero Bullroarer Took.

Tooks were mainly of Fallohide Hobbit stock, and were more adventurous than the other Hobbits. They also had quite a reputation for unusual behavior, a quality not exactly valued by most hobbits. For this reason they were seen as less respectable, and for the same reason they were one of the richer clans. The Wizard Gandalf was a known, if disreputable, associate. Bilbo Baggins and Meriadoc Brandybuck both had Took mothers.


The inspiration for Elvish blood amongst the Tooks may have possibly come from the Tollkühn family intermarrying with nobility:

"The family [Tollkühn] was also supposed to have connections with France and to have intermarried with the nobility in that country', where they acquired a French version of their nickname, du Temeraire."
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
" [Tolkien’s] Aunt Grace preferred the more romantic (if implausible) story of how one of the du Temeraires [Tolkiens] had fled across the [English] Channel in 1794 to escape the guillotine, apparently then assuming a form of the old name, ‘Tolkien’. This gentleman was reputedly an accomplished harpsichordist and clock-repairer."
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography

The inspiration for the name Took may have come from Tollkühn, meaning "foolhardy".

"‘She [Tolkien’s aunt Grace] alleged that the family name ['Tolkien'] had originally been ‘von Hohenzollern’, for they had emanated from the Hohenzollern district of the Holy Roman Empire. A certain George von Hohenzollern had, she said, fought on the side of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He had shown great daring in leading an unofficial raid against the Turks and capturing the Sultan’s standard. This (said Aunt Grace) was why he was given the nickname Tollkühn, ‘foolhardy’; and the name stuck."
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography